"classical style in art or literature," 1830, from classic + -ism. Related: Classicist (1828). In the 19c., usually contrasted with romanticism and considered characteristic of the 18c.
Classicism criticises; romanticism creates. Classicism enjoins self-control; romanticism encourages self-indulgence. Classicism is mold; romanticism is matter. Classicism is art; romanticism is nature. Classicism is law; romanticism is life. Romanticism is undoubtedly first and indispensable; but so, not less, classicism is indispensable, though second. [William C. Wilkinson, "Classic French Course in English," 1890]
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